Yesterday after exercise class several of us chatted over coffee at a local watering hole. Its ambiance is homey, charming. Mis-matched furnishings fill a small space…tables, chairs, benches and sofas. The same could be said of the clientele…singles hunched over their lap-tops…couples huddled in corners…friends, like us, conversing and laughing…and then there’s the playgroups. They can range from a pair of moms with their toddlers, or like yesterday…a full-blown preschool’s worth of young ‘uns.
Within close proximity to the toddlers roundup, our group of middle-aged women got a little prickly at times with the noise and commotion surrounding us. We couldn’t hear ourselves talk, or think for that matter, above the shrieks and crashing of chairs on the floor. It didn’t help that the moms were too busy chatting with one another to intercept.
Upon exiting the coffee house I mentioned to Kristina, friend and exercise instructor, what some of us had thought the owner might do to accommodate the needs of his customers. If he rented the vacant shop next door, he could have the adults fraternize in relative serenity in the old space, while moms and their children could happily spread out in the newer digs.
Without pause Kristina replied “We don’t really want to separate ourselves from other age groups. We need to comingle with them to keep ourselves from becoming old and crotchety.” She mayn’t have said those exact words, but I quickly got the drift…and wholeheartedly agreed. In fact I think she said it’s best not to cart ourselves off to retirement communities when we grow old.
It’s not the first time I’ve heard say living in mixed neighborhoods is preferrable to homogenous ones, where everyone is of similar age and lifestyle. The young energize the old; the old share their wisdom born out of many more years of life experiences.
…the fountain of youth lies within…with a little help from without…